NY Fed First Rejected Cyber-Heist Transfers, Then Moved $81 Million
Hours before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York approved four fraudulent requests to send $81 million from a Bangladesh Bank account to cyber thieves, the Fed branch blocked those same requests because they lacked information required to transfer money, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.On the day of the theft in February, the New York Fed initially rejected 35 requests to transfer funds to various overseas accounts, a New York Fed official and a senior Bangladesh Bank official told Reuters. The Fed’s decision to later fulfill a handful of resubmitted requests raises questions about whether it missed red flags.
The New York arm of the U.S. central bank initially denied the transfer requests because they lacked proper formatting for the SWIFT messaging system, the network banks use for international financial transfers, the two officials said.The Bangladesh Bank official said they lacked the names of correspondent banks, which typically receive wired funds. The Fed rejected the requests, which came from hackers who had broken into the SWIFT network through Bangladesh Bank systems.Later in the day, however, the cyber thieves resubmitted those 35 requests. On the second try, the messages had the proper formatting, the New York Fed official said. The requests had been authenticated by SWIFT, the first line of defense against fraudulent wire transfers.Despite the technical compliance, the New York Fed rejected 30 of the requests a second time. But the Fed did approve five requests – for a total of $101 million. Later, one of those five transfers – a $20 million request – was reversed because of a misspelling.
The New York Fed has said it blocked the 30 resubmitted requests because they were flagged for economic sanctions review. Only afterward were they deemed potentially fraudulent.The Bangladesh Bank official and another source close to the bank said the New York Fed should have rejected all the requests on both the first and second attempts.The source close to the bank, who also had direct knowledge of the matter, said anomalies in the four transfers that ultimately went through should have raised questions at the New York Fed. They were paid to individual recipients, a rarity for Bangladesh’s central bank, and the false names on the four approved withdrawals also appeared on some of the 30 resubmitted requests rejected by the bank, said the source close to the Bangladesh Bank.“Of course, we asked the Fed why the repetition of the names did not create red flags,” the source said.
“They are saying they rejected 35 badly submitted ones,” the source said. But when the requests were re-submitted, they “paid 5 of them and stopped 30. Why? They can give no answer.”Bangladesh Bank and SWIFT declined to comment. The New York Fed has said there were no problems with its procedures for approving SWIFT fund transfers, and declined to comment on whether it missed any warning signs.The cyber theft from Bangladesh’s central bank – and recent disclosures of other similar fraud attempts – have brought scrutiny on the SWIFT messaging system. SWIFT is a cooperative of global banks formally known as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, and its transaction system was used as a conduit for one of the largest cyber bank heists in history.In the United States, a congressional committee has launched a probe into the New York Fed’s role in the bank heist. The Bangladeshi central bank might seek compensation for the funds from the Federal Reserve, and Bangladesh Bank police have said that recent installation of a new SWIFT settlement system at the bank last fall may have provided thieves an opportunity to gain access to the bank’s SWIFT servers.The New York Fed’s reviews of payment requests that come over the SWIFT system are focused chiefly on guarding against money laundering and transfers to people and entities that are under U.S. government sanctions, Fed officials have said. But requests often also are temporarily halted to fix typos and other formatting problems.
The Fed branch has said its clients, including Bangladesh Bank, and SWIFT have primary responsibility for preventing unauthorized transfers.Fed employees queried Bangladesh Bank about the purpose of the payments requested on Feb. 4 and again on Feb. 5, according to a letter to congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) by New York Fed General Counsel Thomas Baxter.The four transfers totaling $81 million went to accounts in the Philippines. The money wound up with casinos and casino agents and remains missing. An attempt to transfer $20 million to a foundation in Sri Lanka was reversed because the word “foundation” was misspelled.The source close to Bangladesh Bank said questions about the anomalies in the approved requests were discussed at a meeting in Basel last month between New York Fed President William Dudley, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir and representatives from SWIFT.
Rep. Maloney and Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, both have made inquiries to the New York Fed.The House Science Committee informed the New York Fed in a letter this week that it is launching a probe into its handling of the transfer requests. The committee plans to examine the New York Fed’s response to the heist, the oversight of SWIFT, and whether additional measures are needed to address vulnerabilities to cyber attacks.SWIFT, which has come under scrutiny after the Bangladesh Bank heist and cyber attacks in at least three other cases, plans a new program to improve security and also wants banks to “drastically” improve information sharing.
Dulquer Salmaan goes lean for Kammatti Paadam
Kochi: Actors’ body transformations for particular roles in films are not new to the filmdom. Their dedication to the craft has always won them praises.Hollywood actor Christian Bale had film buffs going wonderstruck over his transformation for the role in the movie “The Machinist”.The last such one to hit the headlines was from Randeep Hooda, whose pictures resembling a human skeleton were recently released by the team of his next film \\\'Sarbjit\\\'. It was reported that the actor lost 18 kg in just 28 days. Actors in Bollywood are often seen going through body transformations to fit into the role.
However, the trend is not common in the Malayalam film industry. That might be the reason Dulquer Salmaan having his fans agog over some of the actor’s pictures going viral on the social media.Dulquer is in preparation for his next role, in the upcoming Rajeev Ravi directorial venture, \\\'Kammatti Paadam\\\'. He has lost around 8 kilos and is still working on his body diligently, with right diet and intense workouts.
Rajiv Ravi has adapted a real life incident which happened in Kochi a few years back as the storyline for his new movie, which will have the actors traversing through three different timeline in their lives.Suraj Venjaramoodu and Vinayakan will be seen in important roles in the film.
Trump Predicts Very Massive Recession In US
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump predicted that the United States is on course for a “very massive recession,” warning that a combination of high unemployment and an overvalued stock market had set the stage for another economic slump.
“I think we’re sitting on an economic bubble. A financial bubble,” the billionaire businessman said in an interview with The Washington Post published on Saturday.Coming off a tough week on the campaign trail in which he made a series of missteps, Trump’s latest comments bring him back into the limelight ahead of Tuesday’s important primary in Wisconsin where he trails in the polls.
The former reality TV star said that the real U.S. jobless figure is much higher than five percent number released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.“We’re at a number that’s probably into the twenties if you look at the real number,” he said, adding that the official jobless figure is “statistically devised to make politicians — and in particular presidents — look good.”
Trump said “it’s a terrible time right now” to invest in the stock market, offering a more bleak view of the U.S. economy than that held by many mainstream economists.The interview was bylined by the Post’s Robert Costa and famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward.
A real estate magnate, Trump has made appealing to blue-collar workers a hallmark of his bid for the Republican nomination for the Nov. 8 presidential election, often blaming unemployment on the outsourcing of U.S. jobs and facilities to countries such as China and Mexico.Trump vowed in the interview to wipe out the more than $19 trillion national debt “over a period of eight years,” helped by a renegotiation of trade deals.
“I’m renegotiating all of our deals, the big trade deals that we’re doing so badly on,” he said.After making controversial statements about abortion last week, Trump has shown little sign of heeding calls from fellow Republicans to adopt a more presidential tone so as to avoid alienating voters in the November general election if he wins the nomination.
On Saturday, he questioned close U. S. ties to Saudi Arabia and again accused U.S. allies of not pulling their weight in the NATO military alliance.Trump told a campaign rally in Racine, Wisconsin that partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “are not paying their fair share” and called the 28-nation alliance “obsolete.”
“Either they pay up, including for past deficiencies, or they have to get out. And if it breaks up NATO, it breaks up NATO,” Trump said.Tuesday’s Wisconsin nominating contest could be a turning point in the Republican race. Trump, 69, trails his leading rival, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, 45, of Texas in the state.A Cruz win would make it harder for Trump to reach the number of 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination before the Republican national convention in July. The winner will get to claim all of Wisconsin’s 42 delegates.
Pak fishing boat seized by BSF
Bhuj: A Pakistani fishing boat was seized by a BSF patrol party after its occupants fled upon seeing the border security personnel in the Koteshwar creek area off the Kutch coast along the Indo-Pakistan border.\\\"A Pakistani fishing boat was seized yesterday from the Koteshwar creek area after its occupants fled to the Pakistani side on seeing a patrol party,\\\" BSF officials said.
Nothing suspicious was found in the boat, they said.This is the fifth such seizure in that area by BSF in the last five months. Last month too they had seized one boat from the Koteshwar creek area.Earlier in January, a boat was found in the Sir Creek area. In December last year, a fishing boat was seized from Padala creek near Koteshwar while in November, two fishing boats were found in another area of Kutch.
Bayer Defies Critics With $62 Billion Monsanto Offer
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion in cash, defying criticism from some of its own shareholders in a bid to grab the top spot in a fast-consolidating farm supplies industry.The unsolicited proposal, which includes debt, would be the largest foreign takeover by a German company if accepted.The move would eclipse a planned combination of Dow Chemical and DuPont’s agriculture units and comes just three weeks after Werner Baumann took over as Bayer CEO. It was condemned by a major Bayer shareholder as “arrogant empire-building” when news of the proposal emerged last week.
Giving details for the first time, Bayer said on Monday it would offer $122 per share, a 37 percent premium to Monsanto’s stock price before rumors of a bid surfaced.“We fully expect a positive answer of the Monsanto board of directors,” Baumann told reporters on a conference call, describing criticism from some investors as “an uneducated reaction in the media” when deal terms were not yet known, and driven by an element of surprise.
Monsanto, which said last week it had a received an approach from Bayer but gave no details, has yet to comment on the offer.Its shares were 5 percent higher at $106.60 at 1430 GMT, well below Bayer’s offer and potentially reflecting doubts about Bayer’s assertion that regulatory scrutiny would be manageable.
Antitrust experts see an overlap in the seeds business, particularly in soybeans, cotton and canola. Bayer’s LibertyLink line of weed killers, plus crops that are resistant to it, are an important alternative for farmers suffering from weeds that have grown resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
Shares in Bayer, which had already fallen 14 percent since rumors of a bid emerged last week, dropped as much as 5.4 percent on Monday to a new 2-1/2 year low of 84.68 euros.Global agrochemicals companies are racing to consolidate, partly in response to a drop in commodity prices that has hit farm incomes and also due to the growing convergence between seeds and pesticides markets.
ChemChina is buying Switzerland’s Syngenta for $43 billion after Syngenta rejected a bid from Monsanto, while Dow and DuPont are forging a $130 billion business.With German rival BASF also looking into a possible tie-up with Monsanto, Bayer has moved to avoid being left behind.
Baumann rejected suggestions from some investors that Bayer should instead try to forge a joint venture with Monsanto, saying this would have tax disadvantages.Sources close to the matter have said BASF is unlikely to start a bidding war with Bayer. BASF declined to comment on Monday.But analysts say Bayer might still have to pay more to persuade Monsanto and its shareholders to sell up.That could be a problem, with some saying Bayer’s proposal, at 15.8 times its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the year ended Feb. 29, is already a stretch for the German company.
“The price that has now been disclosed is at the upper limit and it is just about economical. Should it rise further, which is to be assumed, the takeover will become increasingly unattractive,” said Markus Manns, a fund manager at Union Investment, Bayer’s 14th biggest investor.Berenberg analyst John Klein said Monsanto and its shareholders were likely to argue that based on 2017 EBITDA expectations, the bid would represent a multiple of only 14 times, compared with the nearly 16 times ChemChina agreed to pay for Syngenta
When pressed by analysts whether Bayer might sweeten its bid, Baumann said the offer reflected Monsanto’s value.“We are putting forward a very, very full price,” he said.
Bayer said it would finance the bid with a combination of debt and equity, primarily a share sale to existing investors. Equity would account for about a quarter of the deal value.Equinet analyst Marietta Miemietz, who has a ‘buy’ rating on Bayer stock, said the extra debt appeared manageable but could limit Bayer’s ability to invest in its healthcare business, which some analysts think needs a boost to its drugs pipeline.
Baumann said Bayer would continue to develop its healthcare arm, which includes stroke prevention pill Xarelto and aspirin, the painkiller it invented more than a century ago.“We are not feeding Peter by starving Paul here,” he said, adding no asset sales were planned to help pay for the deal.Bayer also forecast synergies from a deal with Monsanto would boost annual earnings by around $1.5 billion after three years, plus additional future benefits from integrated product offerings – a reference to its push to combine the development and sale of seeds and crop protection chemicals.Berenberg analysts, who have a ‘buy’ rating on Bayer shares, described the synergies estimate as “very ambitious”.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങള് താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്.
ദയവായി അവഹേളനപരവും വ്യക്തിപരമായ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങളും അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങളും ഒഴിവാക്കുക.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായ പ്രകടനങ്ങള്ക്കോ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങള്ക്കോ അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങള്ക്കോ 24ന്യൂസ്ലൈവ്.കോം , അമ്മത്തൊട്ടിൽ.കോം ഉത്തരവാദിയായിരിക്കില്ല.